It can feel overwhelming as a recent law graduate looking for your first legal role. You can feel as though you don’t have the right skills or experience to get where you want to be. We’ve identified the key skills that are needed for a successful legal career and how you can gain them. Our practical advice will get you well on your way to the legal career you’ve always wanted!
Strong Telephone Skills
Being confident when talking on the telephone is a really important skill as you will often need to get in touch with clients.
Many legal careers start out with initial client enquiry roles, meaning you’ll spend a lot of time taking calls. You’ll need to be confident in answering telephones and talking with clients to gain information.
Getting yourself an entry level position within a call centre is a great way to gain these skills. Even if the role isn’t law related, you’ll pick up the skills, confidence and experience needed to bag yourself a legal role!
Customer Service/Client Care Skills
Legal positions will require you to provide excellent customer service and client care skills. You’ll need to be professional and friendly. Sometimes you’ll have to deal with unhappy clients, so you’ll need to be prepared to handle this appropriately.
Any customer facing role, such as within retail or hospitality industries, will give you the skills for this.
These types of roles can be done while you’re still at university or immediately after you graduate, so you’ll get a good head start on gaining this experience early on!
Time Management & Communication
These skills go hand in hand, they run alongside each other to work effectively. Law firms are often time sensitive and pressured environments. Being able to manage your workload and communicate with your co-workers is important.
An entry level admin based role will teach you to manage your time and communicate effectively. You’re likely to pick up further skills using case management systems and Microsoft applications such as excel. All of these will benefit you in your legal career.
Gaining experience in an admin role, even as a temp or intern, will get you off to a flying start!
No job, particularly in the legal sector, can be done completely alone. Working well with others will be expected throughout your career and is key to your success.
A great way to establish this skill is playing a team sport or joining a committee/society.
These activities can be done in your spare time, and it’s a dynamic way of gaining these skills in a different environment.
Empathy and Understanding
Legal matters are often stressful and difficult times in clients’ lives. Having empathy is an essential skill that will enable you to do the best job possible for your client.
Volunteering with a charity can improve your empathy skills. Particularly if you choose a charity that is important to you, as you will have an invested interest in the work you’re doing.
Empathy is a great skill to have both professionally and personally. Volunteering will give you a greater sense of self, it’s a brilliant social activity and helps to highlight your hobbies in a professional capacity.
Getting started with your career can be difficult, and you may face set backs. However, if you persist and try to gain as many of these skills as possible, you’ll be well on your way to getting your first legal role!
We have more helpful blog posts here such as interview preparation and CV writing advice.
Please feel free to get in touch and chat with our experienced recruiters further if you’d like.
Take a look through our entry level positions on our vacancy page – best of luck!
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